We could not be more excited that the city is finally starting to open up again. All of the spots we've missed dearly over the last few months are slowly but surely (& safely) reopening & welcoming hungry Amsterdammers back with open arms. While we've been packing our calendar with reservations all over town, there's one spot that was at the top of our list: Entrepot. There's something undeniably appealing about this spot. The setting is wonderful, the wine list is terrific and the food never disappoints. We had a chat with Entrepot's chef Arvid Schmidt to find out all about what goes on behind the scenes at this dreamy restaurant.
gloobles: Hi Arvid! Firstly, let us say how thrilled we are that we can eat at Entrepot again! But before we do that, can you tell us how you and Xander met and about the journey to opening Entrepot?
Arvid: Xander & I first met at Goudfazant. I was having dinner with my parents and Xander with a friend. We were sort of messing around at first but then things moved toward more serious conversations. Later, we met at other restaurants of friends. Xander ate at Aan de Amstel (where I was cooking) often, and I would pop in to Gebroeders Hartering (where Xander was working) to eat sometimes as well. We decided to start with a popup to see what it would be like to work together. When that was successful, it was only logical that we would open our own place. It was a beautiful adventure that we embarked on together.
gloobles: Thank goodness you had that chance meeting! Otherwise, who knows whether this wonderful partnership would've ever existed. One of the things we adore at Entrepot is the billiards table at the front of the restaurant. Is there a reason you have it there?
Arvid: It's a nod to the past, as it actually used to be a billiards room.
gloobles: Ahh, that makes sense. What inspires you?
Arvid: Nature & the seasons.
gloobles: That really shines through in your food. Speaking of, do you have a favourite dish on the menu?
Arvid: Dry aged turbot with veal marrow, clams and cauliflower. The fish is killed in a humane way, which also ensures that the quality of the fish remains very high even after we age it for 5-7 days at a temperature of 1 degree above zero.
gloobles: Oooh we haven't tried that one, but we definitely have to now. Is there anything you'd like to put on the menu that isn't there already?
Arvid: Not as far as food is concerned, but there are some wines & special beers we've been thinking about. There are these special beers that are aged in wooden barrels with native yeast & a particular bacteria that we'd like to add.
gloobles: That sounds super interesting. They would also complement many dishes on the menu we imagine. Sourcing seems to be something you take very seriously at Entrepot. How do you choose your ingredients?
Arvid: We work closely with vegetable growers around Amsterdam. The fish come from small-scale fisheries from the North Sea or the Wadden Sea, and, where possible, we like to work with wild game & meat that's come from farms where the animals lead good, happy lives.
gloobles: When you choose things so carefully & take sustainability into consideration, you often end up with far better ingredients. Apart from Entrepot, what's your favourite restaurant in the world?
Arvid: Amass, Relæ & Chambre Separee, but for different reasons. I love Amass because they far outstrip the competition in terms of food waste, and I love Relæ because they work with almost entirely organic ingredients & make or grow everything themselves. Chambre Separee is wonderful because the style of cooking is very dear to me - very minimal but with explosive taste.
gloobles: Where do you see Entrepot in 10 years?
Arvid: Completely organic, sustainable & circular.
gloobles: A wonderful vision! Alright, last question. If you could cook for anyone in the world, who would it be & why?
Arvid: Alice Waters from Chez Panisse because she is one of the forerunners of the farm-to-table movement, & she has been a great example in forming my vision for my restaurant. Oh, and my wife, of course, because she is my most critical fan.